Davide Rebellin maintained his 2nd place overall after the penultimate stage of Tour of Turkey. For the third time in this race Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice was racing on that stage with a 6-man roster, since Łukasz Owsian and Nikolay Mihaylov did not start. They both made the Giro d’Italia lineup and decided to not take any risk of injury, and wanted to gain freshness before the three-week event.
Sean De Bie (Lotto), Valerio Agnoli (Astana) and Muhammed Atalay (Torku) were able to break clear despite strong pace early on. They quickly established large, almost 7-minute lead. It leveled out at this level and Lampre-Merida didn’t seem to be too eager to reduce the gap for a long time.
Davide Rebellin, Stefan Schumacher and Jan Hirt all had problems with punctures in the rear wheel, but they quickly came back to the peloton.
In the second part of the stage other teams started to contribute and the advantage decreased. It dropped to 1:30 at the bottom of the cat.1 climb, with 35km to go. This is where Agnoli and De Bie left Atalay behind, but the duo was also quickly reeled in. The race started all over.
Davide Rebellin was at the head of the bunch on the ascent and when Alex Cano (Team Colombia) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) launched an attack he followed right away. Later Serge Pauwels (MTB-Qhubeka) joined the escape. Orica GreenEDGE was setting the pace in the large chasing group and eventually caught Rebellin’s break with 23km to go.
Shattered peloton came back together in the finale and it came down to a bunch sprint. Mark Cavendish picked up his third victory in this race. Rebellin and most of CCC Sprandi Polkowice finished with the same time as him.
Kristijan Durasek had a flat tire with 3km to go. It happened in the neutral zone so he didn’t lose any time in the GC and kept his leader jersey. Rebellin maintained his 2nd place overall and is still 21 seconds back. CCC Sprandi Polkowice remains in 2nd in teams classification as well.